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Holocaust Trial Statements - Friedel Rau

Voluntary Statement of Prisoner of War

 Hauptsturmfuhrer Friedel Rau

 [photos added to enhance the text]



Portrait of Hans-Adolf Pruetzmann from 1934

During the time that I belonged to the staff of the Senior SS and Police Officer for North Russia, SS Gruppenfuhrer Pruetzmann, in Riga, I overheard the following during conversations by Pruetzmann with others:




 1. Kovno (Lithuania)


During the period from the capture of Kovno until 3 July 1941 about 1,500 people, mostly Jews, were shot by the Lithuanians. These shootings are alleged to have taken place as reprisals for the shooting in the prison by the Russians of about 2,000 Lithuanians.


It is said that very many Jews took part in this shooting by the Russians. Both shootings each took place on one day. Pruetzmann also stated that in this case the simplest way was to allow the population’s hatred of the Jews to take its free course.


This information about the shootings can be confirmed by Obersturmbannfuhrer Werner Fromm, head of the personnel office of the Senior SS and Police Officer (chief of staff) since he belonged to the staff in Kovno.


2. The Setting up of the Camp


In August or September 1941 I heard Pruetzmann discussing with some others the isolation of the Lithuanian Jews. He spoke of the setting up of two camps near Riga, each with a capacity for 20,000 people.  The accommodation was to be arranged according to sexes, the children to be in the women’s camp.


Boys of 14 years and above were to be exceptions, who would remain together with their fathers. The separation of the sexes was to be carried out in order to prevent the bearing of further children. By the setting up of these camps the institution of ghettos in the towns would become superfluous.


This plan was not put into effect up to the time Pruetzmann was transferred to the post of Senior SS and Police Officer, South Russia, but by the end of Oct 1941 work had begun in Riga, if not earlier, on setting aside a part of the city as a ghetto.


Obersturmbannfuhrer Fromm also took part in this conversation.


3. Shootings done by the Security Police (Sicherheitspolizei)


I learned from another conversation (also in August or September 1941) that on this day (I do not know the exact date) about 100 people, whether Jews or Lithuanians, or both, I do not know, had been shot by the Security Police.


The firing squad was said to consist of Lithuanians under the command of an officer of the Security Police. No name was mentioned. I also do not know by whom the order for this was given. The officer commanding the Security Police was at that time Brigadefuhrer Stahlecker. Pruetzmann also added that the Lithuanians were particularly suitable for a firing squad, since their hatred knew no bounds.


Bodies of Jews shot in Vinnitsa

4. Shooting in South Russia


After a discussion  between the Senior SS and Police Officers (End September 1941) Central Russia, Obergruppenfuhrer von Dem Bach (formerly Bach –Zelewski), South Russia, Obergruppenfuhrer Jeckeln, and Pruetzmann, the latter said that Jeckeln had told him that there were no more Jews in South Russia, since various steps had been taken against the Jews there.


In this conversation mention was also made of the fact that the burial of large numbers of people was attended by great difficulties. Obersturmbannfuhrer Fromm was also present at this conversation with Pruetzmann. Who else took part in this discussion I can no longer say.


5. Kiev


(a) Arterial Road 4(Jewish Camp)


In spring 1942 Pruetzmann received instructions from the Reichsfuhrer SS to construct Arterial Road 4 in such a way that it would be open to traffic at all seasons.  The Todt Organisation had declined to build this road, which they said was not possible owing to technical difficulties.

Read more here: http://www.holocaustresearchproject.org/trials/rau.html

The Holocaust Education & Archive Research Team

Copyright Carmelo Lisciotto H.E.A.R.T

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